I am someone who likes to think she is okay with change, but in reality…I’m not. I have struggled with accepting new things into my diabetes management since the very start. Any time anything new was presented to me by my doctors I would always say, if its not broke we are not fixing it.
It wasn’t until a year and a half ago that I finally broke down and got my first CGM and that was only because my endocrinologist told me if I didn’t she wouldn’t feel comfortable with me running my second Boston Marathon.
I left her office in a total and complete mess. So much so that she suggested I make an appointment with my therapist down the hall before I went home (lol I can laugh about this now). I called my mom hysterical, hyperventilating, snot dripping down my nose. And when she kept asking me why I was so upset about having to wear it, I had to stop and think why.
And when I really thought about the why, it was because I didn’t want to have yet another THING that had to remind me that I have diabetes. I already live with it in my head and body day in and day out. Now, I was going to have to wear something on the outside that would just sit there as another daily reminder.
I didn’t want to think about all the benefits that a piece of technology could offer me. I just saw the thing. But I’m a runner and set a goal and wanted to do it. So, I sucked it up and placed the order. The first week I hated it out of principal. The second week, I went online and did some investigating of other type ones to see what they thought. And I can honestly tell you, if I hadn’t done that I don’t think I would be such a fan of my CGM as I am right now.
The type one community is everything. This was the first time I had even searched for other type ones to talk to. I never went to camp when I was younger. I didn’t join any support groups. I was just kind of this solo diabetic figuring things out on my own with my doctors. My parents had always offered those things, but I was nervous and scared so I just said no. But now, suddenly, I found so many other people who were in the same boat as me. I found people who were experiencing the same feelings, the same issues, the same struggles. I found my people!
I read their stories. I asked questions. And ultimately, I accepted the CGM. I used the information from it to work on my blood sugar management. And then in April of 2018, I ran the marathon for the second time and finished it!
When you are someone who has to live with a chronic illness, something that takes up all the space in your head some days, you need your people. You need support. You need others who understand and who have been in that same space as you. I am so thankful for this community and all the amazing people it brought into my life. Change is not easy, but with others supporting you it does get a little easier to accept.
Alissa was diagnosed in August of 2001 with type one diabetes and has worked hard to take control of her health and wellness to be the healthiest version of herself she can be. She works full time in higher education and has a passion for mentoring and supporting others. She has ran the Boston Marathon twice the second time on the Joslin Diabetes team raising money to help support such a near and dear cause. She lives in Boston, MA with her mini goldendoodle named Charlie Dogg. And her spare time she helps coach other women and diabetics with their own health journeys.